Philadelphia Fraud Defense Lawyer
Law enforcement officials and prosecutors take fraud charges very seriously because they inherently involve dishonesty. There are a wide variety of fraud charges, ranging from smaller offenses like issuing bad checks to major white-collar crimes. There are just as many different penalties for fraud as there are different fraud offenses. Knowing exactly what kind of fraud you are charged with is key to defending yourself in court.
Fraud charges can be somewhat confusing to deal with. It is not uncommon for defendants to commit multiple smaller acts of fraud over time. Each instance of fraud may seem small, but after arrest, all those fraudulent acts are added together, and suddenly, they become charges for massive fraud schemes. Our Philadelphia fraud defense lawyer can help you fight your fraud charges and protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long by calling (215) 302-0171. Please speak with our legal team about a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Types of Fraud Charges in Philadelphia
Fraud is not merely a singular charge. Rather, it is a broad category of criminal offenses that involve dishonesty and deception as a means of monetary gain. The nature of your allegedly fraudulent offense will determine your charges. Some types of fraud are independent acts of dishonesty, such as issuing a bad check. Other kinds of fraud are larger schemes designed to deceive people out of money, as with fraudulent business practices.
Fraud may be committed by individual people, organizations, or business entities. An example of fraud often committed by an individual is insurance fraud. Insurance companies rely on the honesty of their customers when they issue insurance payments. A person can collect insurance payouts if their house burns down because of a lightning strike. However, if that person is lying about how their house burned down to obtain the insurance money, they have committed fraud. Similar acts of fraud that individuals often commit include issuing checks they know are worthless in order to buy goods or services or using another person’s identity to obtain a credit card.
Fraud can be committed by an organization or business as well. For example, insurance fraud can be perpetrated by insurance companies rather than their clients. If a client is entitled to an insurance payment because they were in a car accident and the insurance company lied to the client to deny a payout, this could be insurance fraud on the part of the insurance company. The business can be charged in the same way the individual can, though the business itself cannot be sent to jail as a penalty.
What are the Penalties for Fraud in Philadelphia?
The penalties for fraud in Philadelphia tend to vary depending upon the nature of the fraud and the amount of money obtained in the fraud scheme. Essentially, the more money obtained through fraud, the higher the charges will be.
A good example of how fraud charges are graded can be found in the crime of issuing bad checks. Issuing a bad check for less than $200 is only a summary offense and you will most likely have to restore the money you obtained but should not serve any jail time. If the bad check was worth at least $200 but under $500, it is a third-degree misdemeanor with higher penalties. Issuing a bad check worth at least $500 but less than $1,000 is a second-degree misdemeanor, and issuing a bad check worth at least $1,000 but less than $75,000 is a first-degree misdemeanor. Finally, issuing bad checks for $75,000 or more is a third-degree felony.
Many other crimes of fraud are penalized in a similar manner: the less money obtained through fraud, the lighter the charges. However, to determine the severity of your charges, prosecutors may aggregate all your acts of fraud into one case. This means if you issue five bad checks for $100 each, you might not be charged with five separate summary offenses and instead face charges for one fraud of $500. This would be a second-degree misdemeanor instead.
If you have been charged with one act or multiple acts of fraud, call our Philadelphia fraud defense attorney to discuss your case. Higher-level criminal charges come with increased fines and jail sentences, so it is vital to talk to a lawyer about your case if you face high-level fraud charges.
Other Common Consequences of a Fraud Conviction in Philadelphia
Fraud charges may also come with other collateral consequences. For example, many professional licenses can be revoked or suspended if you are convicted of fraud or other crimes of dishonesty. If you work under a professional license, you might lose your livelihood.
Additionally, potential employers might conduct background checks on job applicants. When they see you were convicted of fraud, they may be less likely or legally unable to hire you. This is especially so for defendants convicted of white-collar crimes or fraud involving deceptive business practices.
On top of all that, banks could turn you down for important loans if you have a fraud conviction. A bank does not want to loan money to people they believe are dishonest and may not pay the loan back or could be committing fraud again to get the loan.
How to Handle Police Questioning and Interrogation for Fraud in Philadelphia
If you are arrested for fraud, you will most likely be brought into police custody at a local police station for booking. The police are likely to question you about your alleged fraud. Before doing this, the police absolutely must read you your Miranda rights. These are rights that protect you from the power of law enforcement and include your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney present during questioning. You should invoke your rights and not speak to the police until you have an attorney present. Our Philadelphia fraud defense lawyer is prepared to stand by your side during police questioning and protect your rights.
Contact Our Philadelphia Fraud Defense Lawyer for a Legal Consultation
If you or someone close to you has been charged with fraud, please get in touch with our Philadelphia fraud defense attorney as soon as possible. Our team will go over your charges with you and devise an effective defense strategy for your case. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free, confidential consultation.